Power Soccer Event

 Liverpool legend, Kenny Dalglish attends PowerSoccer event

Belfast Trailblazers v. Sporting Final Power Soccer

The 9th August 2011 saw Power Soccer teams from Dublin and Belfast accept our invitation to meet for a competitive match at Assumption Grammar, Ballynahinch.

Power Soccer, also known as Powerchair Football is a competitive team sport for people with disabilities who use power wheelchairs.  The date marked the first Liverpool Football Academy at the venue and we were delighted when the two teams accepted our invitation to be with us on the day to share in the experience and excitement of Liverpool F.C coming to N. Ireland. 

The teammates from Sporting Fingal Power Soccer (Dublin) and The Trailblazers (Belfast) as well as their parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, cousins and carers, joined us for a tasty breakfast before making their way to the gymnasium to begin the match. 

The atmosphere was electric as the teams got ready to face each other for the second time in 2011.  Having met in Dublin at the Abbey Byrne Memorial Cup in March where Sporting Fingal beat the Trailblazers in the semi finals, there was an obvious element of healthy competition in Ballynahinch with the Dublin team out to defend their win while the Belfast team were determined to prove themselves as real contenders for the trophy on offer at the end of the day.

The teams had sized each other up at the previous event with the Dublin team telling us their Belfast counterparts were ‘very impressive’ despite the fact they are only new on the Power Soccer scene!

We had a special treat in store for all when the teams were greeted by none other than the then Liverpool Football manager and legend, Kenny Dalglish arrived. The match kicked off at 9.40am with the Belfast Trailblazers stepping up to the challenge, despite their opponents being the more experienced side, and scored a goal within the first 10minutes.  The skill involved to control the power chair was plain to see as the teams tackled each other to win the ball. At half time the score was 3-2 to the Belfast team.  After a short mid-time break and a pep talk from parents and supporters the teams faced each other again for the final twenty minutes.  

The score was levelled within a few minutes, but out of nowhere Mark Lupari, from the TrailBlazers, took the ball from one end of the court to the other, undefended, and scored a legendary winning goal.  The final whistle blew after a nail biting 40minutes with the ref laughing off a few good humoured taunts.  Both teams showed true sportsmanship and team spirit after the game by congratulating each other equally and with utmost respect.

It was evident to us that everyone was a winner that day!